He had actually invited me to go shooting with him and some other folks back in July--Sunday, July 25, to be exact. Obviously I was unable to make it; and the next time he invited me I had my aunt's 80th birthday party to attend.
Then he e-mailed me yesterday saying he was going to have a "auto repair party"--actually just guys getting together, working on their vehicles, and shooting the proverbial shit. And this time, I was actually able to go!
Get in the Jeep this morning, start the engine..."check engine" light comes on, and the damn accelerator is wonky. Get to Advance (where I was going anyway, to get oil change stuff) and have them read the codes: TPS. Well, the wonkiness of the accelerator led me to expect that. Advance would have to order it; I decided to wait.
My theory: it's beel cool the past few days. Today it's hot. Maybe the part was cold and some condensation collected inside it. I decided I'd drive the Jeep to Og's place, and pull the battery cable, and then see if being in a hot engine compartment fixes the TPS by baking out the moisture.
So I get there, meet Og, and get to work on changing the oil. The oil fill cap WOULD NOT come off. Og got it off for me, by disassembling it and using crossed screwdrivers to unscrew it.
Note to self: remove the oil cap more often than ONCE EVERY NINE FREAKIN' MONTHS.
Once the oil was changed I got to work on some other things. First up was the rear wiper; it turns out that the thing's transmission is seized. I left the inside trim panel off because I expect to replace it relatively soon.
TPS: I pulled the TPS and checked it for operation. It appears to work fine, but I have no idea what its operating range is supposed to be and I (like an idiot) didn't get the actual code number from the guy at Advance. Is it failing low or high? Does it matter? Probably not.
Also, I pulled the instrument cluster and checked the bulb which is supposed to illuminate when you engage 4WD. The bulb is perfectly fine, meaning that the problem is a switch somewhere under the truck. I didn't feel like looking for it, because it's beastly hot outside today.
Finally about 5-ish I took my leave of Og and came home. I would have liked to stay longer and talk, but the damn heat finally got to me and I couldn't take any more. Even with all fluids I drank, I was getting a headache and feeling like I'd been beaten with a stick.
I got to see "the hole formerly known as stump" and I touched the Cushman.
I'm glad to have met Og--he's a great guy--and I look forward to doing more things with him and other bloggers from the area. Damn it's nice to go do something social.
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As for the Jeep, I'm really glad the TPS waited to do this until after I got it smogged. If it had done this three weeks ago I would have been in the soup, because Illinois won't smog a vehicle if the "check engine light" is on. As it is, I don't have to run around trying to find a TPS; I can just go order one.
Even better: when I started the Jeep's engine, the engine ran right up to about 1700 RPM before settling down around 1300, which is 'way too high and much higher than normal. I shut it off and popped the hood. Og asked, "Oil pressure?"
"No, I just want to make sure I plugged the TPS back in," I said. It was plugged in, all right; I closed the hood and got back in and just chalked up the high idle to the TPS being screwed.
I was almost home, though, when it occurred to me: "You know, that's almost like a vacuum...leak...."
...which was when I remembered that I had unplugged a crankcase vent hose from the intake manifold to give myself room to swing a screwdriver, and that I hadn't plugged that hose back in after reinstalling the TPS.
Well, I was at the stoplight at Steger Road and 394, and it had only just turned red a few moments earlier; I had time to fix it, so I put the truck in park, popped the hood, jumped out, and plugged the hose back in where it went. The Jeep's engine immediately died, but once I'd closed the hood and jumped back in, it started right up...and idled at 800 RPM like it's supposed to.
So I'll need a TPS, which runs around $50 or so; and I'll need a new rear wiper motor assembly, which'll be another $70-ish; and I still want to put a trailer hitch on the thing so I can have some hope of hauling my motorcycle to a place where I could actually, y'know, ride it.
"All it takes is money," as my Dad used to say. *sigh*
But! If you know what the problem is, you're halfway to fixing it. And I finally pulled the spare tire out and put a folded paper towel between it and its support bracket. There was no squeaking from the spare tire on the way home!
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I laughed until tears came at how freakin' perfectly appropriate this metaphor is.
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"You know the New Age types who think they remember their previous lives?" When I lived in Iowa, I did. Unfortunately.
Yeah, I'm going to agree with him, here: even if you have lived a previous life, it's really unlikely you were anyone we know of today.
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Doug Powers over at Michelle Malkin's place, and I can best sum up my reasons for linking by showing you a screencap:
That's usually the way it is, too: after those evil Earth-hating right-wingers finish spewing their hatred and leave, everything is nice and clean and there's little trash or litter laying around. But after the environmentally-conscious, caring
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Good God, I hope somebody is. If the idea of Iran with nuclear weapons doesn't make you reflexively check your supply of ammunition, you're an idiot, because if they get the bomb they will use it.
I desperately want someone to demonstrate that they have brains, some reasonable predictive capacity, and the guts to do what's got to be done. For damn sure it's not our President. He's too busy bowing and scraping and trying "sanctions".
Nobody in the Middle East likes Iran. Nobody. Not even the guys who purport to like them actually like them. They're insane, and they're more interested in chaos and disorder than they are in things like "getting along" and "international commerce". Iran wants Israel gone; if Iran gets a nuclear bomb, you can bet that Jerusalem will only be the first target they hit.
Israel will respond in kind, because Israel has atomic bombs too and the wise man chucks the "peace process" into the trash can once people start dropping bombs on him. (Israel wisely refuses to confirm or deny that it does; but everyone knows it does. That's one reason Israel still exists now.) Do we really want even a limited thermonuclear war taking place? Somehow I doubt it.
Obama's idiotic policy of "engagement" and "sanctions" aren't going to stop Iran; the only thing that will stop Iran is if someone with sense goes over there and pounds them.
Back when Bush was setting up to invade Iraq, I thought, "Iraq? Why not Iran?" Iran made more sense to me. I now know that Iran is run by a government which is almost universally despised by its people; had we invaded Iran, after we crushed their armed forces the people would have been ecstatic. I don't think we would have had the kind of trouble in Iran that we did in Iraq (particularly since the terrorist actions in Iraq were sponsored by Iran, at least in part) though it wouldn't have been a cakewalk, either. (War frequently is not. The first Gulf War was the exception.) With Iran in the hands of a secular government which was democratically elected--rather than the sham islamic bullshit they've got now--Iraq could have been liberated next and it would have been much simpler.
Iran is better-equipped than Iraq was, but I doubt Iran could have put up much more of an effective resistance than Iraq could. The two countries were evenly matched when they were at war, after all.
Of course, it's impossible now.
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...now I need a shower.